Report31 Jan 2015

USA breaks world indoor distance medley relay best in New York


Patrick Casey anchors the USA to victory and a world indoor best in the distance medley relay in New York (© Victah Sailer)

A world record in the distance medley relay by the United States and two victories by Cam Levins highlighted the Armory Track Invitational in New York on Saturday (31).

USA’s team of Matthew Centrowitz, Michael Berry, Erik Sowinski and Patrick Casey toured the 4000m course (1200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m) with a winning time of 9:19.93, breaking the previous mark of 9:25.97 set by the University of Texas in 2008.

“These guys built up such a big lead that I would have had to die out there to let the lead go,” said Casey, who ran the 1600m leg.

Ireland was runner-up with a time of 9:25.37 – also inside the previous record – followed by the New Jersey-New York Track Club (9:27.16) and Kenya (9:27.21).

Starting from this year's edition, the distance medley relay will replace the 4x1500m at the IAAF World Relays.

Canada’s Cam Levins won the mile race in 3:54.74, then rested for 30 minutes before winning the two-mile race in 8:15.38, holding off training partner Suguru Osako, who set a Japanese record of 8:16.47. Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Galen Rupp, another one of Levins’ training partners, was a distant fourth in 8:17.24. Both of Levins’ marks were world leads.

“I changed my shoes, sat down for a second, went downstairs for a jog and basically got some water,” said Levins of the 30-minute gap between races. “I then put on my spikes and got back on the track. It went by pretty quickly.”

There were several other world-leading marks and top performances.

Former world junior champion Ajee Wilson turned in a strong performance in the women’s 800m in a world-leading 2:01.63, beating Treniere Moser by 0.16. In fifth, world junior 3000m champion Mary Cain clocked an indoor PB of 2:02.75.

Olympic silver medallist Will Claye won the triple jump with a world-leading 16.93m. Former world junior bronze medallist Omar Craddock set an indoor PB of 16.87m to finish a close second.

Canadian pole vault record-holder Shawn Barber underlined his recent good form with a clearance of 5.80m, winning by 33 centimetres.

Teenager Jalen Miller set his third PB of the year in the 60m. The world junior 4x100m champion won the final in 6.59 having earlier clocked 6.55 in the heats.

Olympic 400m hurdles finalist Georganne Moline won the 500m in 1:08.84, the fastest time in the world since 2010, putting her 10th on the world indoor all-time list for the rarely run distance.

Another world lead came in the women’s two miles, won by Jordan Hasay in 9:38.28.

In the girls’ high school 300m, Sydney McLaughlin clocked an outright world age-15 best of 37.49. McLaughlin is a 400m hurdles specialist who last year clocked 55.63 but, at 14, was too young to compete at the World Junior Championships.

More than 40 collegiate teams and hundreds of high school competitors competed in the two-day Armory Track & Field Invitational on Saturday, culminating with the two-hour elite athlete section of the meeting.

Organisers for the IAAF